Orly Taitz, the California lawyer known for her vocal and litigious leadership in the "birther" movement, has been slapped with a $20,000 fine by a District Court in Georgia for "wasting the Defendants' time" in a case one of her clients brought against the U.S. Army. The court ruled that Taitz violated Rule 11
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which stipulates that attorneys will not sign onto cases that are clearly brought with dishonest or frivolous motives.
The case, in which Army Capt. Connie Rhodes sought a restraining order for her pending deployment to Iraq on grounds that President Obama is not a valid commander in chief, was part of Taitz's nationwide legal campaign to prove that Obama was not born in the United States. The court's decision, excerpted
by the Washington Independent
, says the suit was brought in "bad faith," and calls Taitz's legal conduct "willful and not merely negligent."
"Counsel's frivolous and sanctionable conduct wasted the Defendants' time and valuable judicial resources that could have been devoted to legitimate cases pending with the Court," the judge wrote in the decision
The Rhodes case was dismissed
on Sept. 16. with an opinion that hinted at the court's displeasure with Taitz. It took a strange turn just days after that ruling, when Rhodes claimed
she had never given Taitz permission to request a stay in her name, and said she was filing a complaint against Taitz with the California bar. Orly Taitz Sanctioned for $20,000